I used to love the story of David and Goliath. It seemed to be the stuff of fairytales; baby brother facing down the big bad giant, using a few small stones to do the unspeakable.
With one well placed stone, David won.
I used to love the story of David and Goliath, until I realized that in this life, Goliath is allowed to come at us again and again. The Goliaths of this life aren’t so bold as the man that David fought, but they stand relentless. They cheat, they lie and they steal. They take the people we love, they divide relationships, they creep up on us when we least expect it, when we at last exhale and say “Yes, this life is good.”
I used to love the story of David and Goliath, until I realized I had to fight him over and over again.
We stand at the front lines, where the “What if’s?” are so loud, so overwhelming, that we clamp our hands over our ears and beg the noise to stop. Goliath stands there, blocking the light, determined to block our access to the king. Yet somehow, in the middle of all that noise, the light creeps through. We hear the confident voice of David. “Let no one lose heart on account of this giant.”
Let no one lose heart.
Though there are nights when the sleep won’t come, when the tears won’t stop, when Goliath looms on the horizon like an unwelcome stranger, let no one lose heart. Though you may lie awake questioning the sovereignty of the King, the fairness of the hand you’ve been dealt, the role which you have been given to play, let no one lose heart. Though the anger chokes your joy, the angst threatens your laughter, and the storm continues to rage, let no one lose heart.”
We appear to be pitifully armed with stones to face the battles of this life, but we are stronger than we look. We are stronger than we feel. So we fling our stones of faith, our stones of hope. Over and over we throw these stones, clinging to the fervent belief that that faith, that hope is enough. That those stones, every once in awhile, will hit their mark and the giant will fall.
“But as for me, I will always have hope.” Psalm 71:14
You cannot stop throwing stones. The longer they lay on the ground next to you, the harder it is to pick them up again. They lay there looking futile, while you waste your time trying to fight your battle with other things. And in those moments of doubt, of disbelief, while you attempt to fling the defenses of this world, you still stand on the front lines, unguarded and vulnerable. Your faith and your hope lay there at your feet, begging to be used. Begging to show their strength.
Pick up your stones. Take your hands off of your ears and hear the promise we’ve been given. “This battle is the Lord’s.” Look around at all of the people standing next you, brave and bruised, and sometimes beaten, but still standing. See their Goliaths, recognizing that you are not the only one throwing stones, the only one questioning the goodness of God in a land full of giants. See the beauty in the battle. Feel the grace in the midst of it. And wait for the ultimate victory on the other side of it.
I used to love the story of David and Goliath, until I realized that the fairytale was real.
Goliath roams, and a few small stones sit heavy in my hand.
“But as for me, I will always have hope.”